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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Good fathers

Good fathers

The true worth of a person does not depend on family origins; it does, however, depend

very much on one's elementary education.

Generally speaking, fathers are considered to be good role models in the family when

they exhibit good morality and self-discipline. Therefore, the father is the model

for his children, especially his sons. This modeling occurs through moral education

and discipline.

There are two kinds of education, within the home and outside (at school and through

social mixing). Home education is the duty of the parents, especially the father.

If the father is good but his son is not, what is the cause? It is because the father

is good but he does not teach his son well and the child receives outside education

which is not good. We acknowledge that in rare instances some bad fathers produce

good sons. This is because of good outside education which influences behavior also.

People who commit violence and who violate others (women and children) are people

of the sort who lack morality and discipline. Violence or rape will diminish only

when moral and disciplined people say the justice system and the court system must

consist of moral professionals who respect and implement the law thoroughly.

Cambodian citizens still fear and detest the Khmer Rouge regime which did not respect

the law. These days there is no one who wants this regime to return. Youth who were

born after the KR regime do not know about its cruelty. Therefore, the bad behavior

of youth gangs also finds its source in poor education and fathers who do not act

as good role models for their children.

If a country has law and practices the law, the rape of a person is cause for concern

because it says that if today someone has raped a woman and the court does not impose

a proper punishment according to that law, later those men will dare to rape other

women. And other men will model themselves on those men. Therefore, law enforcement

is a key factor for eliminating negative social factors. Whatever youth have been

influenced by, if there is good law enforcement and justice, immoral activities of

youth will be suppressed.

Last Wednesday (23 April), the mayor of Phnom Penh ordered the municipal police to

stamp out gangs in the city. He said, however, that we would be able to eliminate

gangs completely from the city only when we had the cooperation of parents, schools

and local officials.

The prime minister has said that many youth gang members come from elite families

and are protected by power and wealth. Last year, he said there are more than 300,000

civil servants who can teach their children not to use force against those who are

physically weaker.

Therefore, only education, good role modeling by fathers and proper law enforcement

can prevent violence committed by our youth or men generally.

- Huot Sokhsan - Communicator Cambodian Men's Network.

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